Hollydale Primary School

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English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.




The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


Spoken language


The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.




Reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).


Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.


Reading at Hollydale School


At Hollydale school we take a great pride in our children’s attitude to and love of reading. Events such as Book Week have paved the way for a real enthusiasm in developing the essential skill of reading. Learning to read the words on a page is just one small part of developing a lifelong enjoyment of reading and an ability to use reading to discover new things. Our aim at Hollydale School is to help children become independent readers who enjoy reading and learn from it.

Taking a book to read at home is just one part of our children’s reading diet. At Hollydale School children enjoy reading books they have chosen quietly in our class reading corners, in the library, with a peer or supporting a younger child as a reading buddy. They enjoy reading a range of different texts with staff during a wide variety of lessons to support their learning. They may also read individually with a teaching assistant or Volunteer reader.
Each child’s reading diet is specifically tailored to their individual interests and need. Our reading scheme (Collins Big Cat) offers a wide choice of new texts which include Traditional tales, Classics, a range of up to date and relevant non-fiction texts, poetry and even Graphic Novels. In addition to this guided reading sessions, literacy lessons, cross curricular links, library time and independent reading sessions offer the opportunity to discover a range of authors and text types.


Guided reading gives children an opportunity to read a range of specifically chosen texts which interest them and support them in developing their reading skills. Children have the opportunity to share these texts with an adult and with their peers in a small group. As well as reading the text individually to the teacher; they discuss ideas, themes, insights and views about the text as a group, learning from others and developing their communication skills. Teachers are able to ask targeted questions to the group and to individuals which will help develop skills such as inference, deduction and recall.


Although your child may not always bring their guided reading texts home you can support their reading development by asking questions such as the ones that are in the front cover of their individual school reading books. I really hope you enjoy working with your child to develop their reading and their understanding of texts. As always we thank you for all the support at home with reading.



Writing at key stages 1 and 2 consists of two dimensions:

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).


Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.


Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary

Opportunities to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, pupils will learn to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. Pupils will also learn how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.


Long Term Curriculum Maps for Literacy 2014-2015